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In 1997, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman described biotechnology and the patenting of life as "the Battle Royale of 21st century agriculture". At the WTO Seattle Ministerial, the United States and fellow exporters of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) fired their first shots and failed. The WTO not only failed to launch a new round of trade talks but proposals for the WTO to consider biotechnology issues also flopped.

IATP published three papers describing the "Battle Royale of the 21st century". The first is the report Biotech from Seattle to Montreal and Beyond: The Battle Royale of the 21st Century". Second came an article published in Seedling, March 2000, Vol. 17, No. 1 titled Battle Royale of the 21st Century. IATP presented the third paper, Feeding the World: Battle Royale of 21st Century Agriculture, to the Program for Agrarian Studies at Yale University.

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